The people of Puerto Rico have never had the chance to fully self-govern. Although the relationship between Puerto Rico and the US has changed over the 120+ years since the Spanish crown ruled, one thing has remained consistent: the US has never let its territory free from its domain. Although the island is considered to be a commonwealth, the mainland government recognizes that Puerto Rico is still ruled like an unincorporated territory (1). Puerto Ricans still cannot vote in presidential elections, negotiate trade deals, or maintain their citizenship. And there are scant options for the people. Puerto Ricans virtually no longer have the option to fight for freedom from the US. The persecution of the Nationalist movement by the US and the Governor’s office in the twentieth century has led to the independence movement in Puerto Rico becoming irrelevant, resulting in most of the island voting for statehood.
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"Smothering a Country: Puerto Rico and the Nationalist Party,"
Zeitgeist: A Journal of Politics, History, and Philosphy: Vol. 2023:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.imsa.edu/zeitgeist/vol2023/iss1/6